The Press: A Small Mistake

In reporting a court-martial conviction last year, the Army's Stars & Stripes in Germany made what seemed a small mistake: it got the accused's middle initial wrong. The accused was Lieut. Colonel Richard F. Whitcomb, convicted of looting a requisitioned house in Germany (his conviction was later reversed). But in getting the story over the phone, Stars & Stripes put down Whitcomb's initial as "S." From that point on, the mistake grew to impressive proportions.

The Associated Press put the story on the wire with the additional information (obtained from the Army) that Whitcomb's...

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